I completed a new piece ‘Cocoon’ last week for Fresh Air ’17. Inspired by the puss moth cocoon and pupa, it is a drawing in space, welded, woven and wrapped. The exhibition starts this weekend and runs until 2 July.
I have been very remiss with blogging – too many balls to juggle! Recently I took a short 2-day break to Yorkshire to visit the Sculpture Park, an astounding place, and walked across the moors to the house that inspired Wuthering Heights, one of my favourite books.
As summer blasts upon us (hooray!) I have a flurry of work and exhibitions coming up from tomorrow. I hope you will be able to visit some of them:
I am still working on a large Cocoon piece for Fresh Air ’17 (see below), due to be installed in a week and still some way to go before completion! Quenington Old Rectory, Quenington, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5BN, 11 June – 2 July, open daily 10am-5pm, (£5 Adults, children free).
In between making this I have been working towards an imminent MFA module at Bath Spa Uni, to be assessed next week. Clashing deadlines, late nights, but nearly ready!
I’ve made a Nests piece for Fifty BEES: The Interconnectedness of All Things, at ACEarts, Somerton, 1-22 July, open Tues – Sat, 10am-5pm. A lovely project with great ambitions.
I am also taking part in the following:
Wylye Valley Art Trail, (see below) Venue 16, The Hive Artspace, 93 Boreham Rd, Warminster BA12 9JY. 26 May – 4 June opening with a Private View this evening.
Bradford-on-Avon Sculpture Garden ‘17 (see attached), Lynchetts, 15 Woolley St, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1AD. 25 June -2 July 11am – 6.30pm (closed Mons). Opening night Sat 24 June, 6-9.30pm (tickets £6, inc. wine + live music).
NGS Open Garden, College Barn, Benter, Somerset BA3 5BJ, 23 July, 10am-5pm
Summer Sculptures at Glastonbury Abbey, 1 July – 1 October
‘Form and Fascination’, Courts Garden National Trust, Wiltshire, 9 September – 15 October. I will be showing a selection of work alongside Ian Turnock.
Somerset Art Weeks Festival ‘Prospect’, ‘Ephemeral and Eternal’, Round Tower, Black Swan Arts Centre, 2 Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB, 16 September – 7 October, 10am–4pm, Monday to Saturday, (open Sun 1 Oct) and Clay Hill Farm, Bridgwater, 23 September – 8 October. I will be showing alongside Angela Morley.
I am also really looking forward to a mini break away to the Venice Biennale soon.
Have a lovely Summer!
Just a brief update on a few exhibitions and events that I’m taking part in this Spring. I hope you will be able to visit some of them.
‘The Future Can’t Wait’, recently opened in the Long Gallery, Black Swan Arts Centre, 2 Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB, 18 March – 5 April (see attached poster/invite). A show of exhibits from 30 Bath Spa MA postgraduate students across four disciplines – ceramics, fashion and textiles, fine art and visual communication.
I’ve been involved in linking this up with BBC’s get-creative-weekend. On Saturday 8 April, from 2-4pm, Black Swan artisans will be offering drop-in taster workshops for adults and children over ten years old, and MA artists will work with young people offering activities for children of all ages, exploring concepts of their current exhibition. I will be doing one of the workshops.
I’m still working on my piece for Fresh Air ’17. Too large now for my studio, I am making it outdoors. Spring weather is helping a lot! Quenington Old Rectory, Quenington, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5BN, 11 June – 2 July, open daily 10am-5pm, (£5 Adults, children free).
I’m also making a small sculpture for Fifty BEES: The Interconnectedness of All Things, at ACEarts, Somerton, 1-22 July, open Tues – Sat, 10am-5pm. The topic is close to my heart.
Have a lovely Spring!
Finally completed my piece for the Walcot Chapel MA residency after a week making and installing. There’s lots of other work too – come along tomorrow 6-8pm for our Open Eve!
For more information about my MA work visit: fionacampbellblog
Months of research and writing for research methodologies on my MA is now finally over and I am looking forward to focusing more on developing my practice.
I have been looking at worms. I studied an earthworm through a magnifying glass. Its semi-transparent body enabled me to view its internal organs which buckle and coil as it moves. I am intrigued by a pulsating deep pink artery that runs centrally through the length of their bodies, delineating this coiling movement. My ideas are revolving around lead lines, reinforced with steel rod in parts, that suggest huge 3d worm forms, skeletal, with linear coiled pink innards made from copper wire, heated red glass, orange twine and plastic strands. This may change, perhaps it will seem too representational, although the expansive forms meandering through space could be quite breathtaking.
As an experiment, I have created a small worm colony in an old fish tank, with dead leaves for them to munch. In a few weeks I plan to remove the worms by attracting them to the top, then cast their tunnels. If it works, it will be interesting to see what their tunnels look like, how they interconnect.
I have cast some more 3d lead lines, using routed wood blocks as moulds, made with a friend (Nick Weaver)’s help. The wooden lines were gouged with 4 different router cutters, so that I have a range of curved and v-shaped lines. The process was slow, as the lead didn’t melt properly on my studio electric hob, until I directed a gas blowtorch flame into the hot pan too. When I poured, the slag remained in the pan, so the lines were smooth, clean lead. I am considering how these might become more 3d, or whether they don’t need to, and how to convey message with method and materials, creating forms that carry natural associations, bridging the gap between science and art.
I have created a brief questionnaire as part of my MA research (see images below). If you have the time to download the document (link below), fill it out and return it to me via email (e: firstname.lastname@example.org) by 1 January 2017, that would be fantastic!
To download click here: questionnaire
(Photo credits:1: Yellowtrace; 2: Amanda McCavour; 4: Laurie Lax; 5: Tate)
Thank you in advance!
My MA continues to absorb me. Research is a main focus this term, I have never got through so much literature in such a short time! I am looking at the ‘expanded fields’ (Krauss) and blurred boundaries in drawing and sculpture, doing alot of thinking, writing, visiting exhibitions, listening to talks and making samples. I love the alchemy. Inspired by artists such as Eva Hesse in the 60’s who defied categorisation, Cornelia Parker (exploded shed; melts down and ‘draws’ the object/s (eg a lead bullet) into wire), Monika Grzymala (see image below: theatrical explosions with tape and paper), Chiharu Shiota (immersive stretched installations) and critics/philosophers e.g. Rosalind Krauss and Peter Osborne, new ideas are slowly formulating.
This month, I will be taking part in the Quartz Visual Arts Festival ’16, ‘Outside In’, 15-22 December at Queens College, Taunton TA1 4QS. This involves a collection of work based on the rural landscape and natural world from over 40 artists and makers in the South West.
I’ve been involved behind the scenes at Black Swan Arts, Frome. The winter exhibition ‘30 Years/30 Artists’ is now running until 24 Dec, our final 30th anniversary celebration of 30 years at Black Swan. Postcard artworks have returned to the Gallery (displayed on a strange pink/silver/pearl tree I cobbled together), this time in secret envelopes at just £10 each – Christmas bargain!
I am also working towards a large piece for ‘Fresh Air ‘17’ in Quenington, Gloucestershire. More news on this later.
Very best wishes for a happy festive season!
Since finishing my egg sac drawing/sculpture (above), worms have been a recent preoccupation. Last week I went on a worm hunt (in a harmless way) to photograph and draw them for my research. There’s a special technique for this: by vibrating the earth, they rise to the surface (apparently to seek mates in the rain – more important than the fear of being pecked by birds or moles).
This is a layer of research over my investigation into possible uses of graphite (and linseed oil) as a medium. Graphite, interestingly, is a form of carbon, which, I’ve recently learnt, is a primary element (4th most abundant in the universe) that comes from the beginnings of life – brought from the stars via buckyballs. All living things contain carbon in some form. Julio Gonzalez, when he first coined the expression ‘to draw in space’ was initially inspired by constellations and the points between them as a metaphor for drawing in space. Graphite, due to its carbon property, is the thinnest medium and can stretch to only 1 atom thick, whilst retaining great strength.
Earth worms have been of interest to me for several years.
I respect their status as recyclers and importance within the cycle of life. I like their grey to maroon transparent skin tones (some with clearly visible red veins delineating their contours as they move) and their form that resembles many others – limbs, tree roots/branches, neurons, filaments…
I hope to create a series of works in 2-d and 3-d – drawings/sculptures/installations that could be immersive, possibly worm-like! The drawings might start flat on oiled paper with graphite, leading to graphite as 3-d. I need to explore other possibilities – perhaps using perpex to back the paper so it can arc into space. It’s early days, and seems a little slow to get going, but I’m enjoying the process of investigation.
My MA course at Bath Spa is all-consuming. I’ve been engrossed in research and explorative studies, leaving little time to add new posts here. To see what I’ve been up to, here is a blog/journal, which logs my progress and an image of a drawing I’m working on at the moment:
The arrival of Louise Bourgeois’ exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, coincided with the first weeks on my MA course. I had been looking forward to visiting her show, being a huge fan. A few days before, I had been looking at my collection of ‘finds’ (all sorts of natural phenomena) for inspiration. A dried up fish swim bladder and a sponge-like form found on the beach grabbed me as starting points. I want to investigate similar forms in nature, sometimes micro in scale – their form and function. I’m also interested in drawing more – whatever shape that takes – 3-d and 2-d.
Bourgeois’ work struck a chord. Of course I love her Maman Spider, crouched eerily, over-powering the first barn. I was hoping for more sculpture, but strangely it was her etched drawings of plant forms, bodily parts and egg clusters that fascinated me most. Largescale and awkwardly drawn, they have real emotion, enhanced by repetition.
Her forms resonated with my ‘finds’. I have since looked up my sponge-like object on the internet. It seems to be whelk egg sacs! Serendipity, though not so surprising that I was drawn to Bourgeois’ seductive egg sacs. So I have been drawing the sacs with a view to creating 3-d pieces (drawings?) with wire, paper pulp, fibres and other mixed media based on them. Relic of little lives, now entered into the greater cycle.